N.Korea to put .kp domain websites back online

Posted on : 2011-01-06 14:43 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Observers believe the move may be to begin to expand N.Korea’s Internet openness

Kang Tae-ho, Senior Staff Writer
IT media IDG Tokyo Bureau Chief Martyn Williams revealed through online media and Twitter on Tuesday that North Korea would soon begin connections to the Internet using the domain .kp. The North Korean move is believed to be in order to expand and strengthen Internet openness.
Last year, Star Joint Venture, an investment of Thailand’s Loxley Pacific, which provided mobile phone service to North Korea, completed registration of some 1,024 Internet addresses, including the KCNA, but it appears the company will put them into use.
Williams wrote, “The country has a domestic intranet that makes use of dot-kp domain names, but the network isn’t connected to the Internet, so has its own servers. Ordinary North Koreans are not allowed access to the Internet, as part of the government’s attempts to limit exposure to information from overseas,” and that the move was the “latest in a string of actions by North Korea to strengthen its presence online.”
Initially, Williams predicted that North Korea would take these online openness-expanding measures in October of last year, on the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers Party of Korea.
In 2007, North Korea received from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) the country domain of kp, but it has been connected to the Internet in a very limited fashion: it has not used domain name servers (DNS), forcing users to enter IP addresses for sites with servers in China. For example, the website of state-run media KCNA is not www.kcna.co.kp, but rather www.kcna.co.jp, and the Twiiter service it opened last year has been run using China’s Internet network or other locations overseas. Starting in 2003, it opened up some homepages using the domain kp, but these were not connected with the outside world, and could only be shared on “Gwangmyeong,” North Korea’s internal Internet.
Please direct questions or comments to [englishhani@hani.co.kr]

Most viewed articles